When Craft Brewers Collide

By Andy Sparhawk

The craft beer community has a strict open door policy, wich extends to industry newcomers and brewing veterans alike. Craft brewers’ willingness to share ideas with other industry players, and and work together for the good of craft beer, is an all too often un-embraced business model. 

A recent example comes from Denver Beer Co. (Denver, Colo.) and Saranac Brewery (Utica, N.Y.) who plan to celebrate their first collaborative effort during the Great American Beer Festival®.  According to Denver Beer Co’s announcement, Continental Collide will be available at the festival and attendees will have the opportunity to chat with the brewers and learn first-hand about the inspiration and techniques that went into this cooperative beer.

Apparently, mutual admiration sparked the idea for the beer. Denver Beer Co’s Patrick Crawford and Charlie Berger went to school in upstate New York and had fond memories of enjoying Saranac’s beers. The Saranac brewers agreed that the two breweries’ mutual love for mountains, beer, barley, and hops should lead to a collaboration beer.

“We are excited to work with [Denver Beer Co.] because of our local connection from their college days in upstate New York and the good times we have had with Charlie and Patrick,” said Saranac’s Rich Michaels. “It is a great opportunity to feature hops form New York’s Mohawk Valley and to work with small batch rye and barley malt from Colorado. It is exciting to see their success and we are honored have been an influence on their appreciation of craft beer and to have an opportunity to brew with them.”

With two craft brewers coming together in this way, there was bound to be a collision. Enough to create a new Mountain range that extends from Denver to Utica? Maybe. You be the judge when you sample Continental Collide, a rye IPA with ingredients from both Colorado and New York.

For details on the Tapping Party, visit Denver Beer Co.’s event page and like Saranac on Facebook details on potential east coast releases.


Andy SparhawkAndy Sparhawk, the Brewers Association’s Craft Beer Program Coordinator, is a Certified Cicerone® and BJCP Beer Judge. He lives in Arvada, Colorado where he is a homebrewer and avid craft beer enthusiast. On occasion, Andy is inspired to write on his experiences with craft beer, and if they are not too ridiculous, you might see the results here on CraftBeer.com.